Daytona Beach, Florida dazzles for the holidays

When planning a getaway, many happily swap sparkling snow for sparkling sandy beaches and warm sea breezes. Visitors have always been fascinated by how Floridians combine the best of the beach with the best of vacations, including decorations ranging from quirky beach to elegant decor.

Often referred to as the home of the world’s most famous beaches, Daytona Beach, Florida, located on the east coast of Florida, midway between St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center (just an hour’s drive from each) and just an hour east of Orlando, is a remarkable holiday that sets the stage for a season of dazzling light shows, as well as 23 miles of Atlantic Ocean shoreline and entertainment at the inland.

Drive slowly in the fast lane

Since 1929, when Major Henry Segrave set his last land speed record on the white sands of Daytona Beach, the “world’s most famous beach” has grown into one of the world’s most popular running destinations. From mid-November to December 2021, Daytona International Speedway transforms into the Magic of Lights, a slow ride through a dazzling display of over a million Christmas lights. (1801 West International Speedway Boulevard, Daytona Beach, FL 32114; 800-748-7467). Drive through a 1.5 mile light show that uses the latest LED technology and digital animation to create magical scenes such as the enchanting tunnel of lights, Joy to the World, 12 Days of Christmas, 200ft Candy Cane Lane and Snowflake Forest. Each year brings new displays with traditional favorites. Cross the pedestrian bridge or cross the boulevard to one million square feet of world-class shopping, dining, entertainment and accommodation at ONE DAYTONA. Every weekend features family events, live music, and entertainment, special dining and shopping. Stay on-site at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Daytona Beach Speedway / Airport or the Daytona Autograph Collection Hotel for an immersive experience for racing fans and a festive vacation.

Holiday food and mood

Built in the late 1800s, the exquisite Rose Villa was established as an ornate bed and breakfast in 1901 to accommodate guests who wanted more privacy than Henry Flagler’s popular Ormond Hotel. In 2007 it was restored and transformed into Rose Villa Southern Table & Bar to the delight of locals and visitors alike. From November 19, 2021 to January 9, 2022, a stunning decorative display will illuminate historic downtown Ormond Beach as the flagship of the season in the center of the Granada Boulevard neighborhood. At Rose Villa Gingerbread Fantasy, visitors can snap memorable photos outside the one-of-a-kind Victorian gem and explore the rich history inside for a delicious dining experience, gingerbread snacks and signature cocktails . Make dinner reservations well in advance to experience the restaurant’s eclectic and tantalizing artwork and special holiday events, including an exclusive opportunity to build a gingerbread house with family and friends . (43 West Granada Boulevard, Ormond Beach, FL 32176;

386-615-7673)

These are just two of the vacation events planned for a season of magical memories and warm weather in Daytona Beach. December 4th is the Daytona Beach Christmas Boat Parade, where spectators line the Halifax River and take in the serene and magical displays on boats large and small, decked out from the bow to the stern. The Jacksonville Symphony will perform Handel’s “Messiah” at the Peabody Auditorium on December 17th. For more events visit www.DaytonaBeach.com/events.


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